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|Families and Genera|
Piroplasms (order Piroplasmida) are protozoan parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa. They divide by binary fission and as sporozoan parasites they possess sexual and asexual phases (sexual reproduction occurs in the tick gut). They include the tick parasites Babesia and Theileria.
Minute rounded or pyriform parasites found within erythrocytes, or other circulating or endothelial cells of vertebrates, where they reproduce by merogony. The trophozoite stage separated from erythrocyte by single membrane. This distinguishes them from other blood parasites that usually have at least 2 membranes.
There is an apical complex with polar ring and rhopteries but without a conoid and usually without associated pellicular microtubules. They lack flagella and do not form either oocysts or spores.
The known vectors are ticks or leeches in which they undergo sporogony;
Sexual reproduction probably occurs in the vector.
- Definition: piroplasmida from Online Medical Dictionary
- Flora and Fauna of the British Isles
- Rudzinska et al. (1983) "Sexuality in Piroplasms as Revealed by Electron Microscopy in Babesia microti" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
- Definition: Theileriidae from Online Medical Dictionary
- Theleriosis: The causal organism and life cycle
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